The Minnesota Board of Animal Health releases its temporary poultry exhibition ban today, Friday, July 1. Animal health officials first enacted the ban in April and extended it twice to reduce the potential risks of spreading Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The ban included all poultry swaps, fairs, exhibitions and other events where live poultry and susceptible birds were brought together and then dispersed.

“We feel HPAI cases have slowed enough to allow poultry events to resume in Minnesota,” said board of animal health interim state veterinarian, Dr. Linda Glaser. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation from everyone affected as we temporarily restricted these events to address the HPAI outbreak in our state.”

While there have been no new HPAI detections in Minnesota’s domestic poultry for the past month, biosecurity is still the most effective precaution poultry owners can follow to protect their flock. There are still occasional detections of HPAI in wild birds, which means the virus is still in the environment and poses a risk to bird owners. The USDA posts the latest reports of wild and domestic HPAI cases on its website.

Bird owners preparing for their local county fair should take some specific biosecurity precautions before and after the fair. Precautions include handwashing, reporting sick birds to the fair veterinarian and keeping birds isolated from the rest of your flock when returning home. Additional measures can be reviewed on the Board’s “Biosecurity for Exhibitors” flyer.

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This spring’s 2022 H5N1 HPAI outbreak in Minnesota posed a high risk to poultry but low risk to the public. There is no food safety concern for consumers.

Follow the latest information on HPAI in Minnesota, as well as resources for poultry owners on the board’s website. Flock owners should continue to practice good biosecurity around their birds and report any suspicious illness to their veterinarian.